Monday, 5 October 2009

Orchid Twitching








That’s twitching, not tweeting, but it amounts to the same. The scientific name of each orchid is a kind of tweet – an informative, less-than-140-character summary of what’s up.

I’m in the Grampians and looking out for terrestrial orchids. This is a great place for these small but quite exquisite plants. They usually have a single leaf and produce a flower stalk that last a few weeks each year. Most of the time they exist simply as an underground tuber.

So today I visited various roadsides and reserves in the northern Grampians, from Wartook to Stawell. As always, some spectacular finds and some irritating illusive species.

I know they are just names (20 today…), but if you know some of these you’ll realise how much fun it was to find them. And then there are the elaborate pollination strategies of deception and fraud…

Caladenia carnea
Caladenia cucullata
Caladenia gracilis
Caladenia ornata,
I think
Caladenia parva, I think
Caladenia phaeoclavia
Caladenia tentaculata
Caladenia versicolor
Diuris behrii

Diuris chryseopsis, possibly
Diuris pardina
Glossodia major
Prasophyllum
(two species, but too hard to identify!)
Pterostylis nana
Pterostylis nutans
Thelymitra antennifera
Thelymitra megcalyptra
Thelymitra nuda,
I think
Thelymitra pauciflora
Thelymitra
Xmacmillanii

I’ve included just a few pictures here and I’ll probably post some more later. Although orchids are abundant in the northern Grampians, telecommunication signals are a little harder to locate.

Images, in order from the top: a field of green combs; three of the similar green comb species – Caladenia tentaculata, Caladenia phaeoclavia and Caladenia parva; a spider orchid – Caladenia versicolor; a field of sun orchids (mostly the blue Thelymitra megcalyptra but with a few of the pink Thelymitra Xmacmillanii); and finally just one of the sun orchids – Thelymitra Xmacmillanii.

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